Harry’s Restaurant on Longbrook Street has always been a firm favourite amongst Exonians and with its friendly, intimate vibe and excellent food, we discovered on our visit that it’s not difficult to see why.
A restaurant whose wall is adorned by mounted antlers alongside Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks painting may be deemed a little more than simply eccentric, but with the fairy lights lining the windows, scarlet tea lights twinkling on the tables, and the low hum of Elvis in the background there is a warm and pleasant atmosphere surrounding the diners as they enjoy their dinner. The relaxed mood and excellent aromas coming from the kitchen are enough to make anyone impatient for their first bite.
“warm and pleasant atmosphere surrounding the diners as they enjoy their dinner”
I started the evening with the signature Harry’s Bellini, an elegant combination of refreshing prosecco and peach purée that gave a deliciously sweet taste and scent and went fantastically with my entire meal.
To start we had a Mezze Board to share which consisted of beautifully presented cured meats, olives, pickles, artisan breads, and hummus. The breads were perfectly toasted and brought out the pleasant flavours of the meat and the hummus which was a particular favourite at our table and left us scraping the dish in search of more.
For our mains, I ventured out of my comfort zone of pizza and hamburgers and ordered the Pulled Pork Pappardelle. My exploration was rewarded with a substantial dish of pulled pork and pasta ribbons served with a pink peppercorn sauce and a generous helping of parmesan. The dish was quite peppery, however if that is to your taste, as it was to mine, then you’re in good hands. The fiery flavour complimented the rich and warm meal that was wonderfully creamy and very filling. My dinner date went with the local dish of Darts Farm Chicken Breast alongside dressed rocket leaves, parmesan, garlic mayo, and some classic French Fries. Harry’s was consistent in their generous helpings and the chicken was wonderfully succulent with a hint of a fruity citrus taste.
“The fiery flavour complimented the rich and warm meal that was wonderfully creamy and very filling”
My dinner partner was defeated by the excellently substantial chicken dish, so I ventured into Harry’s wide selection of desserts alone. With so much to choose from, making a decision seemed impossible. The famous and original Harry’s Heart Attack was very tempting (and deserves special mention in any review of the restaurant), but I ended up selecting the lighter Campari and Clementine Sorbet. It was not only scrumptiously fruity and creamy, a texture difficult to achieve in a sorbet, but was refreshingly light and served as a fantastic pallet cleanser after a large and heavy main course.
Throughout the meal, our servers were friendly and attentive, but still allowed us to enjoy our meal at our own pace. Harry’s also had some excellent options for any dietary requirements.
Overall, I cannot praise the food and atmosphere at Harry’s Restaurant enough. It is also close to campus and is great for any event from birthdays, flat dinners, graduation lunches, or an intimate date. However, do remember to book for any day of the week as it is always very popular, Monday to Sunday!
– by Emily Stephenson
*Images courtesy of Harry’s Restaurant